Using Personalization in Sales Development, with Lauren Wadsworth of Segment


Lauren didn’t have a traditional start in Sales Development; After studying molecular biology and theology, she spent four years researching termites. However, meeting some sales professionals on a trip to San Francisco changed her life. 

Starting out as an SDR, she has worked her way up to Head of Global Sales Development at Segment. In our interview, she discussed the importance of personalization, how her background has helped her, and her goals for 2020. 

The importance of personalization

When Lauren started her first SDR role, her team was sending 100% automated emails with zero personalization. However, she started attending conferences where speakers like Ralph Barsi, Steli Efti, and Sean Sheppard were talking all about the importance of personalization. After eventually convincing her boss to let her try some personalized outreach, she booked three times as many meetings in her second month than any SDR at the company had before. 

Video can help you stand out even more. After booking several meetings with prospects at a conference—prospects who’d previously said no to her emails—Lauren thought more about why they’d said yes to her in person. After all, she’d used exactly the same message. The difference, she realized, was they could see she was just another human being, someone they could build a personal connection with. 

That was her big aha moment—if people clicked on a video and could see and hear her, if they could see she took the time to personalize her message, she’d make a bigger impression. The results were overwhelmingly positive, getting a 25% return from emails compared to a 1% on emails without video. 

Top Sales Development challenges

  1. Getting buy-in from people on changes to procedure
  2. Ensuring SDRs have mastered their roles before they move on
  3. Achieving optimal alignment between Sales and Sales Development

One uncomfortable thing a day

Lauren’s dad taught her to do one thing that makes you uncomfortable every single day. For example, Lauren would introduce herself to all the executives at a work party, rather than just drinking with her friends. 

Her parents also made her get a job the minute she turned 16, at least if she wanted to use the car. For Lauren, that meant working at Jamba Juice. Working a minimum wage job in the service industry helped her develop more appreciation for people. She got comfortable talking to strangers, helping them and making them smile. 

People sometimes ask Lauren if it feels like she wasted her degree, but there are many aspects of her science background that have helped her in Sales Development. She has a deep appreciation for driving meaningful stories from data and poking holes in theories or testing hypotheses. “I geek out on that type of stuff.” 

Tech tools no longer used

  • Spreadsheets (previously used for prospecting)
  • Boomerang (replaced with Outreach)
  • ZoomInfo and DiscoverOrg (updated to the new ZoomInfo Powered by DiscoverOrg)

Sales Development at Segment in 2020

Lauren has two objectives for 2020. First of all, she wants her Sales Development team to be best-in-class, empowered and enabled to truly personalize their outreach. When a prospect receives outreach from their SDRs, Lauren wants it to be of the best pieces of outreach they’ve ever seen. 

Lauren’s second goal is whenever an SDR leaves the team, whether it’s for another position internally or working for a new company, she wants whoever hires them to find them to be the most driven, hardworking, curious and ambitious people they’ve ever worked with. It’s all part of the brand Lauren is developing for her team, as she strives to help create a phenomenal career foundation for all the people that are on the team. 

If you’re looking for ways to improve your Sales Development program and overcome similar challenges, contact us at Tenbound today for a no-obligation exploratory call.

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